North Norfolk staff embrace the true meaning of Christmas with foodbank donations

Kari Ashling of Victory Housing Trust presents the Christmas goodies to Cromer and district Foodbank

Kari Ashling of Victory Housing Trust presents the Christmas goodies to Cromer and district Foodbank joint project managers Tim Morton and Miranda Hall. Photo: Andy Newman - Credit: Andy Newman

Kind-hearted staff at north Norfolk's largest social landlord have been embracing the true spirit of Christmas – by donating to a 'Reverse Advent Calendar' to help less fortunate people enjoy the festive season.

Staff at Victory Housing Trust have each been donating 24 items of food, drink and festive treats to the joint 'Advent Calendar' – which has seen several boxes of goodies delivered to the Cromer and District Foodbank for distribution to those facing a less than merry Christmas.

Collection organiser Kari Ashling, a tenancy management officer at the Trust, delivered the boxes to the Foodbank in time for the items, (which also include necessities such as toothbrushes, shampoo and nappies) to be included in the charity's seasonal distribution.

'The reverse advent calendar is such a good idea which encourages us to think about the real meaning of Christmas,' said Ms Ashling. 'Colleagues at Victory have really embraced the idea, and we are delighted to be able to donate so much to the Foodbank at the time of year when demand for what it does is at its peak.'

Last month the Foodbank, which has distributed over 30 tonnes of food to people in crisis across north Norfolk over the past year, was the recipient of a £5,000 grant from the Victory Housing Community Fund to help support the cost of its two part-time project managers.

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The Cromer and District Foodbank is based at Cromer Methodist Church in West Street.

Between 2016 and 2017, they fed nearly 3,000 people, of which 1,035 were children.

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Having only opened in 2012, the Foodbank has seen a rising demand for their services as one in five members of the UK population now live below the poverty line.

In the first six months of 2017, the Foodbank team saw a 45% increase in the amount of vouchers they needed to give out.

Cromer and District Foodbank covers an area of approximately 200 square miles, with distribution centres at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Hall, North Walsham; The Stables, Baptist Church, Stalham; St Michael's Church, Aylsham; Children's Centre Aylsham; St Joseph's Catholic Church Hall, Sheringham; Holt Youth Project, Holt, as well as the Cromer base.

For more information, visit the Foodbank's website.

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